Students at Yale Law School shouted down and stopped a March 10 panel discussion – ironically about free speech – featuring a Christian attorney and an atheist attorney. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner and Monica Miller of the American Humanist Association were at Yale Law to talk about Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, a case that both sides of the ideological spectrum actually agreed upon.
That case deals with freedom of religion and free speech on college campuses – and, according to Waggoner, the panel was convened to demonstrate "how a liberal atheist and a conservative Christian could agree on free-speech issues." But "a mob" of Yale Law School students was so triggered by a conservative being on campus that they shut the event down – using tactics described by ADF as hurling insults, making obscene gestures, shouting down speakers, and engaging in physical intimidation.
The disruption early on, says Waggoner, "was probably the tamest part of the event."
"That's when they were addressing their own professor," she continues, "which was extremely disrespectful in the way that they spoke to her and the hand gestures towards her. But that was nothing compared to the next hour that we were in that room."
Waggoner told Washington Watch with Tony Perkins last week that she had to be escorted from campus by police officers. And during an appearance on Fox & Friends on Friday, the ADF attorney offered this description:
"This wasn't a protest. This was physical intimidation and bullying that took place in the presence of Yale administration. I just want to underscore the importance that Yale administrators shouldn't be cowering to mobs. They should be insisting on embracing a culture of free speech …. These students were not only physically intimidating the other students and the speakers, they were pounding on the walls, blocking the exits, and disrupting the event throughout."
America's future lawyers, jurists, legislators, and corporate executives, says ADF, must be able to persuade others logic and legal principle – not via intimidation and harassment; and certainly not by shouting down and trying to "cancel" anyone who disagrees with them.
But someone on the bench is pushing back. When he heard about the protest, Judge Laurence Silberman of the powerful DC Circuit Court of Appeals sent a letter to every federal judge in the U.S. asking that the students who were willing to disrupt the panel "be noted"; and suggesting that their stance on free speech might disqualify them from clerking for any federal judge – a handicap that could end their law careers before they began.